OUR WEEKEND AWAY AT THE STAR ON THE GOLD COAST
We have just come back from a few relaxing days on the Gold Coast thanks to the amazing team at The Star. The timing of our mini getaway couldn't have been better as we have been incredibly busy keeping up with Dusty who is now on the move, crawling and climbing over everything, whilst working and managing all the things, including our wedding and honeymoon, which we are organising ourselves. Man how much I miss sleep! A chilled out few days was just what we needed; especially when Dusty and I had been hit with that horrible flu that's making it's way around. Never have I felt so rubbish!
We always love heading south as it's so much more happening down here. Something we noticed about The Star pretty quickly was the interior design; I've taken some photos below to show you how cool it is. It was clear to us that every chair, table, cushion and feature had been meticulously chosen with a lot of consideration and thought. As we spent more time enjoying the hotel, we would notice new things about the interior design, particularly the colour palette of blues, dusty pinks and tan. So lovely!
Now before I fill you in on what we got up to, what we loved the most about The Star is that we could stay in the comfort of the beautiful hotel, enjoy its swimming pools, fitness centre and restaurants without feeling as though we needed to leave. And for many families with children, this is ideal because constantly bundling kids in and out of the car, every time you need to grab a bite to eat, can be a mission! Might I add, The Star is based around it's impressive Casino. So if throwing down some cash over a Blackjack is your jam, this is the place. But that doesn't mean if you're a young family you can't have a relaxing getaway. It's quite the opposite! The Star clearly caters for everyone. So here's what we got up to:
Jason and I love Japanese food, and Kiyomi blew our mind. We might have had shock jock Alan Jones dining at the table next to us, but we were far too busy enjoying Executive Head Chef Chase Kojima's incredible menu. I highly recommend the Seared tuna with guacamole, wasabi and avruga, Hiramasa Kingfish with miso ceviche and crispy potato, Agedashi tofu with Asian mushrooms (I cannot have Japanese food without getting this), Tempura pumpkin with rococo and poblano dip, and the mouth watering Toothfish with caramelised miso. And if you love raw fish as much as we do, you have to get the Snapper with white soy, Usuzukuri and lime. So good.
Our morning routine isn't complete without squeezing in some exercise. The Spa & Fitness Centre has all the essentials with state of the art equipment. Never have I seen better treadmills; I was so happy! After a good sweat session, we would cool off by taking a quick dip in the swimming pool next door. The weather is starting too cool down here on the Gold Coast, so in summer the pool is clearly the place to enjoy all day long.
The name of Food Fantasy should tell you everything you need to know. Everyone loves a buffet and Food Fantasy offers all the breakfast nosh you can think of. We're not eating as much breakfast as we used to these days, so we grabbed some fresh fruit then head out to M&G Cafe for an iced latte. But you love breakfast and if you love buffets, this is the place to go.
If you feel in the mood for a spot of browsing and shopping, Pacific Fair (or Pac Fair, as the locals refer to it) is basically next door. A short walk from The Star and I dare you not to buy anything. With Zara, H&M, Harrolds and Gucci, it is massive and quite exciting for us because we have no big retailers on the Sunshine Coast.
Jase is a keen (um, obsessed) surfer and he just bought a new Maverick board so we jumped in the car and drove down to Burleigh each day so he could catch some tubes. Dusty and I loved sitting up on the grass hill to watch him in the water. This is such a nice spot to soak in the morning sunrise as it glows golden over the towering hotels in the distance.
I have to admit, I truly love fine dining Chinese that highlights traditional flavours, ingredients and cooking styles from different regions of China. And The Imperial perfects all of that and more. We decided to go for lunch and at 12pm when it opened, there was already a long line of people waiting to dine as well. We chose a selection of dumplings, including the Foie Gras and lobster, Steam shrimp and scallops and Char Sui bao. Feeling the familiar sense of contentment, we decided to share our main and chose the Special sweet and spice chicken with a side of Pan fried Chinese broccoli. The chicken was the best Chinese cooking we've ever experienced; it genuinely left us in awe of the combination of flavours - just spectacular.
Garden Kitchen & Bar
After Dusty's lunch nap, which I also indulged in myself as I had been feeling so unwell with this ghastly flu, we slowly made our way down to the Garden Kitchen & Bar for an afternoon cocktail. There is something I love more than anything in a bar, is modern design with cascading greenery. And The Star's Garden Kitchen & Bar has perfected this combination. There are many beautiful light filled spots to take a seat, including the outdoor deck and vast green lawn. I ordered a delicious Vanilla and passionfruit martini whilst Jase had a beer, and we also got a side of Mooloolaba spanner crab cakes with creme fraiche, chives and fresh lime.
You can be forgiven if you think all we did on our mini getaway was eat, and eat, and eat because we certainly did make our way around the restaurants at The Star. And happily so! It was so nice not to have to jump in the car to be able to enjoy a fine dining experience. For dinner on one of the nights, we enjoyed Italian at Cucina Vivo. We chose a selection of starters, including the Fried zucchini flowers, Heirloom tomato salad, Pan seared octopus, Grapefruit cured salmon carpaccio Prosciutto pizza and Verde risotto.